Maple Apple Crisp

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read about my unfortunate incident involving flying appliances and a crippled toe. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but I did end up with a broken toe resulting from a poorly stacked pile of kitchen equipment. I know there’s not much to be done to remedy a broken toe, so I did not seek out any medical treatment other than a self-prescribed glass of red wine.

I give myself an “A” for effort for attempting to walk 1 mile to work in the snow the following morning, but I only made it 20 feet before concluding that it just wasn’t going to happen. At least not without some serious pain. Sick day, it was!

I spent most of the day on the couch with a bag of ice frozen cranberries swaddling my toe, but I did manage to hobble around the kitchen and put together this delicious Maple Apple Crisp.

Let’s talk apples for a minute, shall we?

During the warmer months, I completely ignore the apples on display in grocery stores and instead stock up on berries and stone fruit; but as soon as the cool weather descends, I plow my way through bags of organic apples at an alarmingly fast rate. The majority of them are eaten raw and out-of-hand, but some are reserved for baking.

I’ve never come across an apple baked good that I didn’t like, but my all-time favorite apple dessert is apple crisp. Easy to lighten without sacrificing flavor, apple crisp is the ultimate dessert-breakfast hybrid (and you probably know how much I love these kinds of dishes).

Is apple crisp not the same to you without something cool & creamy to accompany it? I’ve got you covered. Serve the crisp with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt for a healthy ice/whipped cream substitute.

Many of you appreciated the nutritional information I provided for the Whole Wheat Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies, so I thought I’d include the info for this crisp as well.

according to the Spark Recipes calculator, @ 6 servings, each serving contains:

  • 210 calories
  • 8.7 grams fat (0.8 grams saturated fat; 4.0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 3.4 grams monunsaturated fat)
  • 4.5 grams fiber
  • 2.1 grams added sugar
  • 1.9 grams protein

Not too shabby, right?! I’m especially impressed with the low amount of added sugar, given how sweet the crisp tastes (a prime example of how naturally sweet fruit is!). In terms of the fat content, canola oil and walnuts delivers a healthy amount of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats… most crisp recipes call for butter, which is full of both saturated (i.e. unhealthy) fat and cholesterol. The fiber comes from the whole wheat pastry flour, rolled oats, and apple skin – which is one reason why I decided not to peel the apples (I also like the color they impart to the crisp!).

Nutritional stats aside, this apple crisp tastes fantastic. Just a touch of maple syrup is enough added sweetness for the apple filling, which bakes up soft and fragrant. The crisp topping is a nice crunchy textural accompaniment to the creamy apples, and is reminiscent of a hearty granola. I chose to keep the skin on the apples, but if you prefer to peel your apples, go ahead and do so before slicing them.

Maple Apple Crisp

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • canola oil cooking spray
  • 5 cups thinly sliced baking apples, (about 4 medium), such as Gala, Cortland, Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, etc., preferably organic (peel them if you must, but you will be sacrificing fiber)
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider
  • 1 tsp pure maple extract (may substitute pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Sucanat
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat an 11×7 inch baking pan with canola oil cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, toss apple slices with maple syrup, apple cider, maple extract, and arrowroot powder. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the Sucanat/brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, walnuts, and apple pie spice. Pour in the canola oil and stir until crumbly. Sprinkle crisp mixture evenly over apples. Crisp topping won’t completely cover apples.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until apple filling is bubbly and crisp topping is golden.


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